Video poker stands among the most popular game genres in the casino industry and it is available at a large number of land-based establishments. This genre traces its origins back to the 1970s and it quickly rose to become a fan favorite. As more and more players became enamoured with the game, more and more variations started appearing to the scene. Soon video poker became a major genre in its own right, with multiple variations of the original game being available at any one time.
Tens or Better is one of the more popular styles of video poker that you can play out there and it is widely accepted as one of the best in the genre. Online casinos have not missed the opportunity to add video poker to their selection of games and Tens and Better can be found at many different gambling websites. In this article, we will cover all important aspects of the game and provide you with some advice so that you can improve your general gameplay.
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Basic Rules of Tens or Better
Tens or Better is one of the main variations and it has quite a lot of similarities with another video poker style known as Jacks or Better. The main goal in Tens or Better is to form a card combination which is better than a pair of 10s. The game is quite simple to play and the set of rules can be understood in a few minutes.
When you first start the game, you will have to place a bet. You will be able to wager up to 5 coins per hand, the value of which can be determined by you. Of course, the game does have some minimum and maximum bet values that you have to abide by. Once you have placed your bet, you will be dealt a hand of five cards. From these, you will have to select which you wish to keep and which to discard. Ideally, you wish to hold onto any combination and discard any cards which are not of use to you. When this happens, you will be dealt more cards to replace the ones that you discarded and this will be your final hand. If your hand contains a pair of 10s or higher, you will be granted a payout. The better your hand is, the more money the game will offer you.
The Double feature is quite common in the video poker genre and it is one that can have a significant effect on your bankroll. Basically, after every win, you will be offered the opportunity to double your winnings by staking them. Should you choose to take the risk, you will be presented with a hand of five cards face down. The leftmost card will be revealed to you and you will have to pick one of the remaining four cards which has a higher value. If you are successful in your guess, the game will double your winnings. However, if you chose poorly, any winnings will be forfeited. The Double feature can make or break your gaming sessions, therefore you should use it carefully.
Hand Rankings in Tens or Better
In any video poker game, all possible hands form a hierarchy, with the better hands offering better payouts. Most Tens or Better games follow the rankings listed below in ascending order.
Tens or Better
This is a pair of Tens or Higher. This is the minimum hand that will qualify you for a payout. For example, a hand of 10-10-2-5-J or Q-K-4-7-Q will qualify for this, whereas A-3-9-7-9 will not.
This hand consists of two pairs of identical cards and a random one. The suits of the cards are not important. Examples of Two Pair include 2-K-2-Q-K.
Three of a Kind
This is a hand which is made up of three identical cards and two random ones. The suits are not important for this hand. For example, 3-4-3-Q-3 is a hand which has a Three of a Kind.
This hand is made up of five cards which are in sequence with each other. For example, 2-3-4-5-6 is a Straight. The Ace can act as a high or low card, depending on the hand, for example, A-2-3-4-5 or 10-J-Q-K-A. The suits are of no importance for this hand.
This is a hand where all five cards are of the exact same suit. For example, 2-5-10-A-6, all of Spades, is considered a Flush. The exact values of the cards are not important, as long as all of them are of the same suit.
This hand is made up of a Three of a Kind and a Pair. For example, a hand containing A-10-10-10-A is considered a Full House. The suits of the cards are not taken into account for the Full House.
Four of a Kind
This hand is made of four cards of the same value and a random one. A good example of this is 10-10-A-10-10. The suits of the cards are not important.
Five cards of the same presented in a sequence form a straight flush. For example, A-2-3-4-5, all of Hearts, is a Straight Flush, as long as these cards are of the same suit.
A Royal Flush is a hand which is formed by Straight Flush running from 10 to Ace. For example, 10-J-Q-K-A, all of Spades, is a Royal Flush. This is the highest paying hand in any video poker game and it can earn you a nice boost to your bankroll.
Paytable Variations in Tens or Better
The paytable is another important factor to consider when choosing a video poker game to play. In this regard, Tens or Better is often said to feature worse pay ratios than Jacks or Better. This is because Tens or Better allows players to form a winning combination with a weaker pair of cards, thus increasing the chances to win. Tens or Better users the following paytable as ‘Full Pay’:
|Four of a Kind||25:1|
|Three of a Kind||3:1|
|Tens or Better||1:1|
These figures are meant to serve as an example and are not indicative of every Tens or Better game out there. Often, we will find that certain software providers adjust the numbers ever so slightly, changing the odds of the game. So keep in mind, that while this paytable is common, it may be different, depending on the software provider.
House Edge of Tens or Better
House edge is another very crucial part of any casino game and especially so when considering video poker. House edge refers to the statistical advantage that the casino has over the players and the total share of all cash it can expect to keep as profit over the course of hundreds of thousands of games. The house edge only works in the long term and will not affect you if you only play a couple of hands per day. However, if you are a hardcore player it will surely have some impact on your bankroll.
Based on the paytable that we posted above, Tens and Better comes with a house edge of approximately 2.22%. This is slightly higher than the average for the genre, though still well below the vast majority of casino games. Of course, this number may change if the paytable is adjusted with higher rewards, so it is in your best interest to look for such a game.
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